The Capitoline Museums are equipped with permanent tactile facilities to help blind and visually impaired visitors discover and learn about some of the most important works of art on display.
Didactic tools, tactile books and panels have been drawn up by the Capitoline Museums Directorate in collaboration with the Museum Association.
- “Palazzo Nuovo. Masterpieces of ancient sculpture”
Edited by Marina Mattei, Ivelise Schiavoncini, Giuseppina Similar, Maria Poscolieri
Published by Silvio Zamorani, Turin 2004
(financed by the “Amici dei Musei di Roma” Association)
- “Palazzo dei Conservatori. The Apartment”
Edited by Maria Dell’Era, Giuseppina Similar, Maria Poscolieri
Published by Silvio Zamorani, Turin 2005
(with the contribution of the Department of Culture of the Lazio Region)
- “Lapidary Gallery. Messages from the stone”
Edited by Daniela Velestino, Giuseppina Similar, Maria Poscolieri
Published by Silvio Zamorani, Turin 2007
The ground floor of Palazzo Nuovo hosts a number of scale models representing the complex of Piazza del Campidoglio (including the square designed by Michelangelo, the statue of Marcus Aurelius and the “Cordonata” staircase) and the buildings overlooking the square: Palazzo Senatorio, Palazzo dei Conservatori and Palazzo Nuovo; a scale model represents a detail of the façade of Palazzo dei Conservatori. The models describe the most important architectural evidences and allow blind and visually impaired visitors to get directions and visit new places.
For Palazzo dei Conservatori, a tactile book is available on request at the ticket office, with a relief map illustrating the visit, a brief description of the Conservatori Palazzo and Apartment, and relief drawings of the main sculptures on display (such as the Capitoline She-Wolf, Bernini’s Spinario and Medusa), and of the most representative subjects of the frescoes and tapestries of these rooms.
For the area of the Temple of Jupiter, adjacent to the Exedra, as part of the Civil Service project “Capitoline Museums at your fingertips”, a new tactile path has been designed, through which it is possible to deepen the history of Rome starting from the Iron Age. Here it is possible to find faithful reproductions of ceramic and metal artifacts on display in the Museums, which were once the funerary equipment of the tombs of the ancient Esquiline necropolis. Also available are teaching cards in downloadable version to help prepare the Museums’ visit:
1 - Introduction to the itinerary - The Rome of the Kings
2 - Ceramic artifacts
3 - Bronze artifacts
The transformations of the city and in particular of the Capitoline Hill can be tracked by touching the monumental structure of the foundations of the Temple of Jupiter of the archaic age, the so-called Roman Wall.
For this part of the Museums, teaching facilities, realized by the volunteers of the National Civil Service in collaboration with the museum curators, and teaching cards helping to prepare the visit are also available in a downloadable version.
1 - The Archaic Temple of Jupiter Capitoline
2 - Historical events: the destruction and reconstruction of the temple
3 - The Roman Wal and the foundation podium of the Temple of Jupiter
On the second floor of Palazzo dei Conservatori, the Capitoline Picture Gallery hosts an important collection of paintings. Here, four thermoformed panels allow visitors to discover the main works of art on display. In the room of Santa Petronilla, dedicated to the great Roman 17th-century painting, three thermoformed relief panels represent two masterpieces by Caravaggio, the “San Giovannino” and the “Buona Ventura”, and Rubens’ Romulus and Remus, respectively. In room no. 2, dedicated to 16th-century painting in Ferrara, a panel reproduces the Annunciation by the painter Garofalo.
Upon request a tactile book is available at the ticket office, helping blind and visually impaired visitors to discover and learn about ten of the most significant works exhibited on the first floor of Palazzo Nuovo. A relief map with directions, both inside the book and on site (on the ground floor and first floor), helps reaching different places and works of art.
Further support comes also from three relief panels on the first floor reproducing specific works, as well as from a series of didactic cards created in collaboration with the volunteers of the Civil Service project “Capitoline Museums at your fingertips” (2016 ), to be used before or during the visit.
I – Gallery: the tactile book provides a brief description and a relief drawing of the sculpture known as the “Drunk old woman”
III – Cabinet of Venus: the tactile book provides a brief description and a relief drawing of the famous Capitoline Venus. The same drawing is to be found on a relief and braille panel next to the statue.
IV – Hall of the Emperors: the tactile book contains a description and a relief drawing of the portrait of the emperor Caracalla. For a number of other works here on display, it is possible to download teaching cards that can be used before or during the visit:
Sitting statue with portrait head of Helen
Portrait of Giulia Domna, wife of Emperor Septimius Severus
Portrait of Giulia Mameo, mother of Emperor Alexander Severus
Portrait of a young lady
Portrait bust of a Flavian woman
V – Hall of the Philosophers: the tactile book contains a description and a relief drawing of the portrait of the philosopher Pythagoras.
VI - Great Hall: in addition to the descriptive cards and the relief drawings inside the tactile book, representing the two famous Centaurs, the Old Centaur and the Young Centaur, the Great Hall hosts two relief panels.
VII - Hall of the Faun: the tactile book contains some descriptive cards and two relief drawings, relating to the Sarcophagus with the myth of Selene and Endymion and to the statue of the Boy with Goose respectively. For the latter, a teaching card is also available in a downloadable version to help prepare the visit:
Boy with Goose
VIII - Hall of the Galatian: to visit the room that houses the famous sculpture of the Dying Galatian, blind and visually impaired visitors can use the descriptive cards and the relief drawings inside the tactile book, representing the statue of Cupid and Psyche and the Galatian respectively. For the latter, an in-depth didactic paper is also available:
The fascinating itinerary inside the Lapidary Gallery unveils the Capitoline epigraphic collection, on display in the basement of the Piazza del Campidoglio, and the internal spaces of the Tabularium, one of the archives of the Roman age.
A tactile book helps blind and visually impaired visitors to better enjoy the exhibition path, thanks to a relief map of the different places and the drawings of some of the works of art on display. Further support comes also from a number of teaching cards created in collaboration with the volunteers of the Civil Service project “Capitoline Museums at your fingertips” (2016 ), to be used before or during the visit. The path allows to discover several aspects of daily life in ancient times: languages, funeral rites, laws, work, play, roads and aqueducts, military life, the Roman aristocracy and inscriptions to emperors. A downloadable version is available on the introduction to the course.
Description of the path
1 - Languages: for the section dedicated to languages, a relief drawing of the stele with a dedication to the gods Malakbêl and Aglibôl is available inside the tactile book. A downloadable version of a didactic card is also available.
Votive relief dedicated to Malakbêl and Aglibôl
2 - Sepulcher: the tactile book contains a relief drawing of the aedicule-shaped stele with the portraits of the servants of Sulpicius Galba. An on-site panel with a relief drawing and braille caption and an in-depth didactic card (downloadable version) are also available.
Sepulcher of Sulpicius Galba’s servants
3 - Jobs and occupations: the tactile book contains a brief description and a relief drawing of the sepulchral slab of a manufacturer of flower crowns.
4 - Playing: the tactile book contains a brief description and a relief drawing of the so-called “play of the Kings”.
5 - Religion: the tactile book contains a relief drawing and a brief description of a slab remembering the fall of a night lightning.
8 – Military life: the tactile book contains a relief drawing and a brief description of the relief dedicated to Silvanus and the Genius of the Equites Singulares. Also available for the sector dedicated to military life is an in-depth didactic card, in a downloadable version, of the altar dedicated to Quintus Sulpicius Celsus.
Altar dedicated to Quintus Sulpicius Celsus
9 - Aristocracy: the tactile book contains a relief drawing and a brief description of the base of the statue of Quintus Aurelius Symmachus.
10 - Dedications to emperors: for this section, the tactile book contains a brief description and a relief drawing of the statue base dedicated by the “Vicomagistri” to Emperor Hadrian. For the latter, also available are an on-site relief tactile panel with braille caption and an in-depth didactic card to be downloaded.
Base of a statue dedicated by the Vicomagistri to Emperor Hadrian
A scale model in the Tabularium area represents the building of Palazzo Senatorio; it can be disassembled to explore the different stages of its construction, from the ancient Roman building to the current seat of the Municipality. The model has a removable panel with a relief drawing and braille caption representing Piazza del Campidoglio, to help visitors get directions. A downloadable teaching card is also available. The model is kept under a display case and can therefore be explored on request.
Palazzo Senatorio’s Façade and Tabularium
An explanatory relief panel allows to enjoy the view of the Roman Forum from the arches of the Tabularium, including a map of the area and the representation of the most significant buildings. Also available is a teaching card, in downloadable version.
View over Roman Forum